UNMARRIED - IT'S A CRIME
Imagine this. You have a girlfriend and her name is Silvia. You live together with her and Silvia brought a computer when she moved. Silvia gave you permission to use the computer to check your personal email from time to time.
You suspect Silvia is seeing some guy so you install spy software on the computer. The spy software later tells you that Silvia has, in fact, been seeing not one, but two other men while she has been living with you in what you thought was a monogamous relationship.
Well, whether your name is Jack, Chris, Bob, or Bill the fact is that a quick reading of the Computer and Technology Crimes section of the Rhode Island General Laws will tell you that you just committed a crime.
Essentially, what you've done is the equivalent of hacking into someone's computer. When you install software that you have not been given permission to install on a computer that does not belong to you and you receive information that the owner of the computer didn't authorize you to have then you've crossed a legal line from snooping to crime.
This may, or may not be serious criminal offense depending upon how many times you have had contact with the criminal system, but the idea is that it's a CRIME!
MARRIED IT IS NOT A CRIME?
Now here is where it tends to boggle the mind. Let's say that it's the same scenario but after Silvia moves the two of you get married. A weeks later Silvia buys a computer with a credit card in her own name.
Now you suspect the same thing while you are married to Silvia and you install the spy software on the computer and find out the same information.
Guess what? You didn't commit a crime!
That's right! The computer is most likely to be considered marital property by the family court because it was bought during the course of the marriage. Therefore, technically it belongs to both of you. Installing spy software on your own computer isn't a crime!
Well, let me tell you something that may be hard to swallow. Tens of thousands of spouses who lack security in their marital relationships are spying on their spouses. Yes, it's sad. What is even sadder is when you expect to have your privacy respected whether you are married or not and yet once you are married, that privacy goes right out the door in many ways.
Unfortunately, this is being used as a major tactic in divorces these days. Even when one spouse seizes control of a family computer or cellular phone, etc... it still may be marital property and still may be bugged or contain spyware.
Private investigators are slowly becoming a thing of the past and amoral tactics like disregarding your spouse's privacy by using family law loopholes to allow you to bug spouses technology devices your spouse uses is now becoming a new divorce tactic. As long as it's not illegal, then a divorce lawyer can recommend it to the client.
Scary isn't it! The number of people doing this, and attorney's recommending this is on the rise and the tactics of the people employing them are escalating to the level of criminal conduct.
There are ways to protect yourself based upon the circumstances but they must be done carefully in order to make sure that your privacy is protected by law.
Do you suspect you are being tracked?
Do you wonder if your spouse knows your every move and is having you followed?
Do you care if this happens?
Is there anything that could be twisted in your divorce proceeding to make you look bad?
Do you even consciously think about what you are texting and your choice of words or do you just let the texts fly?
All it takes is a little thoughtlessness or a sloppy divorce lawyer to allow these things to go unchecked and allow things to spiral out of control.
If you suspect foul play with your technology devices, then it may be worth your while to call to me for a Technology Investigation Session.
I've been investigating computers relating to divorce cases for 5 years now and while the court might not recognize me as an expert, it helps to know quite a bit about both divorce law and today's technology in a single package.
Your Privacy is Precious! Don't let someone rob you of it!
Call Now at (401) 632-6976 to set up your Divorce Technology Session to find out what you can do to find out if you could be the victim of technology privacy invasion!
All my Best to All Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court,
I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."